Obama announces new measures to close gender pay gap

President Barack Obama speaks about equal pay during an event to mark the 7th Anniversary of the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act January 29, 2016 in Washington, DC. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

On Friday, President Obama will announce new rules in order to close the gender pay gap, requiring companies with 100 employers to report to the federal government what they pay employees by race, gender and ethnicity. “Too often, pay discrimination goes undetected because of a lack of accurate information about what people are paid,” said Jenny Yang, the chairwoman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “We will be using the information that we’re collecting as one piece of information that can inform our investigations.”

The new rules expand on an executive order that President Obama issued nearly two years ago, requiring federal contractors to submit salary information for men and women. While President Obama has made pay equality a priority, Congress has been reluctant to act, with Republicans arguing that gender discrimination is already illegal and further steps are unnecessary, forcing Obama to use his executive powers. Nevertheless, President Obama will call on Congress again Friday to pass new legislation which would allow women to sue for damages for pay discrimination. The measure has been blocked repeatedly by Republicans, who believe it would lead to frivolous lawsuits. President Obama made his remarks on the seventh anniversary that he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law. On Friday afternoon, Ledbetter posted the below video on Twitter that explains the stakes of the pay gap.

On Friday morning, the White House posted the below graphic on Twitter, which should help any doubters better visualize the problem of the pay gap.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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